World News in Brief: July 12

Friday, 2019-07-12 14:43:52
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Japan and the Republic of Korea will hold talks in Tokyo on Friday (July 12) to discuss Japan's tightened curbs on exports of some materials to the ROK. According to Japan's public broadcaster NHK, the meeting will take place at ROK's request, which will be the first between the countries since Japan implemented the measure last week.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's new president Volodymyr Zelensky discussed the issue of the Ukrainian conflict in their first telephone conversation, the Kremlin said Thursday (July 11). They also discussed opportunities to continue contacts in the Normandy format, the statement added.

* Iran's Foreign Ministry urged Britain to release its oil tanker which Britain seized in the Strait of Gibraltar last week, official IRNA news agency reported on Friday. Last Thursday, British Royal Marines in the Strait of Gibraltar seized an Iranian ship which was heading to Syria "in breach of EU sanctions," western media reported.

* Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will reshuffle her cabinet on Saturday for the second time in recent months.

* US President Donald Trump spoke over phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Iran, the White House said Thursday.

* The inaugural African regional high-level conference on countering terrorism ended on Thursday with the adoption of resolutions to revitalize the war against a vice that threatens the continent's economic progress and stability.

* US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke by phone on Wednesday with the Republic of Korea (ROK) Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha regarding denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and the state of US-Japan-ROK ties, said the State Department on Thursday.

* A total of 19.91 million people have been affected by floods since the beginning of the flood season this summer in China, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management. The disasters caused total losses of CNY53.4 billion (about US$7.7 billion), with 34,000 houses collapsed and over 1.76 million hectares of farmland affected.

* At least one person was killed and 13 others were injured in a major fire that broke out Thursday at a heat-and-power plant in the Moscow region, the Russian Emergencies Ministry said. A preliminary investigation showed that the accident started from an oil tank which caught on fire, according to the Russian Energy Ministry.

* The French Parliament adopted Thursday, by a final vote of the Senate, the introduction of a tax on "GAFA", making France one of the first countries to impose a tax on digital giants. The GAFA tax refers to an acronym for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.

* The German government approved arms exports worth EUR5.3 billion (US$5.9 billion) in the first half of 2019, which was more than in the entire previous year, official data revealed on Thursday.

* The death toll of the collision between a passenger train and a freight train in Pakistan's eastern district of Rahim Yar Khan on Thursday morning has risen to 21, police said late Thursday.

* Sudan's Transitional Military Council (TMC) announced on Thursday that a coup attempt planned by officers was thwarted.

* Ten UN peacekeepers were wounded when their vehicle hit a mine on Thursday in northern Mali, while the country has been witnessing rising inter-communal violence, a UN spokesman said.

* Yemen's government forces announced on Thursday the downing of a reconnaissance Houthi drone in the southwestern province of Taiz.

* The Libyan navy said on Thursday that it rescued 53 illegal immigrants off the country's western coast in two separate operations.

* Two separate road accidents that took place in different areas of Pakistan on Friday morning left 16 people killed and three others injured, local media reported.

* An Air Canada flight Thursday morning was forced to divert to Honolulu, capital of US Hawaii, after suffering turbulence, local media reported, adding that dozens of people were injured in the incident.

* The Qatari armed forces on Thursday met with an Iraqi military delegation over the means to push forward bilateral relations, Qatari Ministry of Defense said.